“Lapdog Diplomacy”: Another Christmas In Aussie Maximum Security For Former US Pilot Daniel Duggan


As we head into the so-called festive season, here’s a sobering message from our of our more active readers, Roy Hives.

Hi Folks,

Second Christmas in solitary confinement, on orders from the Americans. Dan has been accused of betraying America. It’s political. Part of the US “China is bad” narrative. Our government knows that. Labor knows that the exemption for political motives in the extradition treaty applies, yet they are doing this to Dan and his family.

This is a massive injustice. The AUKUS Treaty doesn’t bind us to do this. This is Labor heading off the Opposition’s attack: “You are endangering the security and defence of Australia.”

Innocent people suffer for the votes.

This is the measure of the lack of integrity of politicians we have elected to govern us. 

Here’s a link if you’d like to offer financial support. This .org mob aren’t entirely honest either. You don’t have to pay the “Tip”. Click ‘other’, and set the amount to ‘0’. I didn’t find that out until I complained online!

Merry Christmas, Roy Hives

If you’re not familiar with the case, Mr Duggan, a 55-year-old former US citizen and military pilot, now a naturalised Australian with an Australian wife and kids, was arrested more than a year ago at the request of the US government.

He is accused of accepting money to train Chinese pilots more than a decade ago, and is being held by Australian on behalf of the US on charges of conspiracy, arms trafficking and money laundering while he fights his extradition to the US.

Our government’s apparent enthusiasm for locking people up (or acquiesing to other countries locking our citizens up… see ‘Assange’) to please the Americans is well known, and in this case, described by Mr Duggan’s legal team as “lapdog diplomacy”.

As mentioned above by Roy, there’s a fundraiser set up by the family, who have even been blocked by the Australian Federal Police from selling their NSW south coast property to fund Mr Duggan’s legal defense. Here’s how his wife, Saffrine, describes the situation.

Saffrine Duggan… fighting for the release of her husband from an Australian prison, former US pilot Daniel Duggan.

“Without ever being charged of an offence in Australia, my husband Dan has been rotting in max security isolation for almost a year at the behest of the US – all at the Australian taxpayers’ expense.

“Despite being an Australian citizen with no history of violence, he’s been torn from his six kids and our family is being bankrupted by the Australian government. You may have seen us on ABC’s 7:30 report. Dan is facing extradition to the US, and 65 years in prison. I can’t bear the idea of telling my kids they’ll lose their father essentially for life.

“Dan’s lawyer Bernard Collaery [Ed’s note: The same lawyer who stared down the Australian Government over their illegal wire-tapping of the East Timor embassy in Canberra] has called the whole situation a hypocrisy and a show trial, and is trying to stop the extradition through Australian courts. Dan can’t get bail because there is no presumption of innocence in the extradition law of our country. His chances of a fair trial in the US are slim to none.

“As we fight for Dan’s freedom, our bills are mounting and I need your support – can you donate to keep us going through this nightmare?

“Dan’s case is now the subject of a rare Inquiry by Australia’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security which is looking into the legality of ASIO’s conduct. When I talked to my friend Glenn, a former army officer, he agrees that Dan has been caught up in a politically motivated case dating back to the Trump Administration.

“Australians will not stand for interference by the United States in our country. Please give what you can so our family can stop this injustice.”

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.